Japanese team to leave on quest for Yeti 2003
July 15, 2003. 2:56pm (AEST) and article #2 August 2003 and Article #3 September 6, 2003
House fitter Yoshiteru Takahashi, 60, will leave Japan for Nepal on August 10 with five other men, a seventh is to join the party in the capital Kathmandu, Takahashi's wife, Masako, said.
"He has been convinced of the Yeti's existence for three decades and believes searching for it is the last romantic mission left in the Himalayas," she said.
Few have even claimed to have seen the Yeti, but tracks in the snow, rare photos - often fuzzy, excretions, hairs and disputed testimonies are some of the elements that continue to fuel the debate on the "abominable snowman".
Half man, half monkey, it is said to live high up in the thick forests of Nepal and Tibet, where it is known locally by the name "migou."
Takahashi's party, ranging in age from 31 to 60, is to stay at the Dhaulagiri (White Mountain) massif, whose main peak is 8,167 metres (26,950 feet) high.
They hope to track the Yeti down by setting up at least four infra-red cameras.
Takahashi climbed the Dhaulagiri peaks twice in the 1970s and once in 1982.
He returned there in 1994 for the sole purpose of finding the Yeti - in vain.
He failed to film the Yeti although he smelled a strong animal scent and found barefoot footprints that resembled those of a small human child and measured between 10 and 20 centimetres (four and eight inches), his 56-year-old wife said.
"I know I cannot stop him as we have been married for 27 years, and I want people to understand he is serious about the mission," she said.
The party is being provided with logistic support from the major Japanese daily Asahi.
Since the last century, curious westerners have put themselves on the track of the Yeti.
Among the most famous are Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner, and Edmund Hillary, who first conquered Everest on May 29, 1953.
Some years after, in 1960, the New Zealander took part in a ten-month expedition to attempt to prove the existence of the Yeti in the Khumbu Valley, to the south of Everest. But it was in vain.
The most convincing evidence was a scalp brought back from a monastery in Khumjung.
scientific analysis proved it was a forgery, made with a piece of a Serow
This is the second expedition for Yoshiteru Takahashi, a 60-year-old amateur cryptozoologist from Tokyo.
During his 1994 trip, Takahashi says he detected a strong animal smell and what looked like footprints of a human child in a mountain cave some 15,000 feet up Dhaulagiri, the world's seventh-tallest mountain, reports Kyodo News. He failed to catch any images, though, as his camera had fallen.
"I want to find out what made those footprints." Takahashi told the Associated Press. "They definitely didn't belong to a bear."
He and his fellow mountaineers are now armed with infrared-sensing cameras which can detect the body temperature of living creatures. His strategy is reportedly one of "hide and wait," thinking it is unlikely to run into Bigfoot by chance.
"I don't consider this a mystery," Takahashi said, according to AP. "The yeti exists I just want to figure out what kind of animal it is."
As WorldNetdaily reported in June, six people including one radio journalist reportedly spotted a grayish "mythical ape-like animal," about five feet tall with shoulder-length black hair in China.
reportedly discovered several footprints about 30 centimeters long after
losing sight of the creature, which was said to be moving quickly.
The seven-member expedition, supported by The Asahi Shimbun, is spending 40 days to find the creature, which supposedly is hairy and ape-like.
The team, led by alpinist Yoshiteru Takahashi, 60, is concentrating the search around Nepal's 8,172-meter Dhaulagiri, the world's seventh highest peak. Four members are veteran climbers of the Himalayas.
The adventurers set up their base camp on a grassy plateau about 4,300 meters above sea level, according to reports reaching The Asahi Shimbun on Friday. The camp is just southeast of the 6,273-meter Myagdi Matha peak. The area is dotted with white, blue and yellow alpine plants.
The team set off for base camp with 140 guides and porters on Aug. 17, and initially was scheduled to arrive on Aug. 23. Progress was hampered by continuous rain and steep cliffs in the jungle, adding six days to the journey.
There have been numerous yeti sightings in the area.
Some say the creature walks on two legs, has long arms and dark hair, either red or gray.
The team has set up 17 infrared cameras at points along trails they believe yeti use.
Rather than try to follow a yeti to its lair, team members will lie in wait, hoping to photograph the creature. They also plan to set up two other observation camps, which will be equipped with telescopes.